There are a lot of options out there when it comes to estate planning. In fact, the options may be so numerous that they become overwhelming. Yet, the inherit desire to save money drives many people to turn to the Internet for self-help guides and templates, which they then utilize to create their own estate plans. While this may seem like a great way to save some time and retain control over the process, it can be extremely dangerous. Here’s why:
- Boilerplate language: Most online documents contain boilerplate language. While some boilerplate language may be necessary in your estate planning documents, too much of it could mean that you’re not getting the custom-tailored plan that you’d hoped for.
- Neglect of state laws: Estate planning laws can vary significantly from state-to-state. Unfortunately, many online templates are rather basic and may not conform to applicable state law. This means that the estate plan that you worked hard to develop may end up being legally invalid for failing to abide by applicable statutes.
- Lack of detail: Your estate is unique. As such, you deserve an estate plan that speaks to the intricacies of your assets, your family, and your interests. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find that attention to detail in online forms, and this lack of detail could lead to familial infighting and a drawn out and costly probate process.
- Lack of options: Many self-help guides and templates that are found on the Internet address broad strokes in the estate planning process. By relying on them, you could be missing out on the estate planning options that are right for you and your family.
- Time-consuming: Thoroughly educating yourself and creating the holistic estate plan that you need can be time-consuming when you try to tackle it on your own. You may not have that sort of time. After all, these matters tend to fall by the wayside, which means that it may be too late by the time you get around to creating your estate plan on your own.
Oftentimes, a sound estate plan is more important than people realize. That’s why they sometimes try to cut corners when creating one. But we find that our clients breathe a sigh of relief once we help them create the individualized estate plan that is right for them. That’s why if you’re thinking about creating an estate plan, we encourage you to forego the do-it-yourself method and instead ensure that your estate and your interests are fully protected by working closely with a skilled legal professional.